“An absurdist delight, a grand adventure of passion and lunacy, a brilliant book about melancholy that is anything but doleful.”

Texas Observer

Debut Novel:

Reinhardt's Garden

At the turn of the twentieth century, as he composes a treatise on melancholy, Jacov Reinhardt sets off from his small Croatian village in search of his hero and unwitting mentor, Emiliano Gomez Carrasquilla, who is rumored to have disappeared into the South American jungle—“not lost, mind you, but retired.” Jacov’s narcissistic preoccupation with melancholy consumes him, and as he desperately recounts the myth of his journey to his trusted but ailing scribe, hope for an encounter with the lost philosopher who holds the key to Jacov’s obsession seems increasingly unlikely. From Croatia to Germany, Hungary to Russia, and finally to the Americas, Jacov and his companions grapple with the limits of art, colonialism, and escapism in this antic debut where dark satire and skewed history converge.

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Select Praise for Reinhardt’s Garden

Longlisted for the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award for a Debut Novel
“Most Anticipated of 2019”
— The Millions
“Best Texas Books of the Decade”
— Texas Observer

“Evokes Gertrude Stein, contemporary European and South American writers like Matthias Énard, Roberto Bolaño, and César Aira, with the Quixotic atmosphere of Werner Herzog films like Fitzcarraldo…A strange but lavishly imagined tale of a hard-to-describe feeling.”

— Kirkus

“Jacov Reinhardt and his faithful assistant roam South America in a quixotic search for the essence of melancholy—an enterprise that makes Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, their rough contemporary, come off as a levelheaded pragmatist. To follow Reinhardt, fueled by amounts of cocaine not even Sigmund Freud could have managed, is to walk into a fascinating literary maze that spans from Ulrich Schmidl’s chronicles to the decadent movements in turn-of-the-century Europe and Latin America. Melancholy has never felt more euphoric than in Mark Haber’s breathless paragraph-long novel.”

— Hernan Diaz
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